It is set to be a special day at Hunter Stadium this Sunday when the Newcastle Knights host the St George Illawarra Dragons because not only is it Old Boys Day, but the Mark Hughes Foundation is the match day charity partner.
The Mark Hughes Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation formed in Newcastle by Mark and Kirralee Hughes, following Mark’s diagnosis with brain cancer in 2013.
The Foundation has been formed to raise much-needed funds to promote research, heighten awareness and support brain cancer patients and their families within the community.
“While my diagnosis came as a big shock, I’ve accepted that it’s a path I’ve been given and I now have an opportunity to turn something negative into something truly positive,” Mark explains.
“The Mark Hughes Foundation also allows me to give back to those who have helped me and are helping others in my position.
“Being involved in Sunday’s game as a charity partner of the Knights, gives us the chance to raise more awareness of this terrible disease.
“It is extra special to be involved on Old Boys Day, which is always a great day for us past players to join with the current players and the fans, to celebrate our great Club.”
Mark joined the Knights at training on Tuesday to officially kick off the week together. Together they held grey balloons to symbolise those that have passed due to brain cancer and also hope for those still battling.
At half time in Sunday's game, a group of families who have directly lost loved ones from brain cancer will then release grey balloons.
An online charity auction has already commenced, with bids closing on Wednesday 3 September 2014 at 7pm. The two items include a Game Day Experience for two people for Round 26, and a Golf and Dining Package with Mark Hughes and Danny Buderus. More details for these items are available at www.markhughesfoundation.com.au.
The week will culminate on Sunday when the Mark Hughes Foundation joins the Knights Old Boys at Hunter Stadium.
Together they’ll give the fans an opportunity for a photo with the 1997 and 2001 Grand Final Premiership trophies. There will also be a photo booth set up on the concourse level of the Western grandstand, hosted by some Knights’ greats.